WRC A FULL 2016
Dual Surface Challenge For DMACK In Spain.
7 October 2016
FIA World Rally Championship tyre manufacturer DMACK will face a complex challenge at next week’s Rally de España. The only mixed surface round of the series will see the firm offer a total of six different tyre options for the Salou-based event.
For DMACK World Rally Team drivers Ott Tänak and Raigo Mõlder, the focus will be on delivering another sterling performance across the event – especially on the opening day’s gravel action where they were strong last year.
Taking in a three-stage loop, which is repeated with only a brief opportunity to change tyres, the opening gravel day in Spain is a tough way to kick off the event. It includes the longest stage of the rally, the 38.95km run through Terra Alta.
Tänak will have a choice of two DMACK compounds, GH21 hard and GS61 soft, for the gravel stages where tyre management is set to be a crucial factor next week. Spain’s rocky roads demand a high amount of puncture resistance and high ambient temperatures in the hills above Salou can also test tyre durability.
The team’s M-Sport mechanics will then have an extended service to switch Tänak’s Ford Fiesta RS WRC to asphalt specification and bolt on DMT-RC2 Tarmac tyres – with hard H5+, soft S5+ and the emergency wet pattern permitted.
The Estonian pair then face two days of tough Tarmac action on the region’s flowing, circuit-like roads, where drivers need to be smooth and precise in order to pick the racing line through sweeping corners.
Two DMACK-entered crews will also compete in WRC 2. Norwegians Marius Aasen and Veronica Engan will continue their prize drive season at the wheel of a Fiesta R5 after having sealed the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy here last season. Sander Pärn and James Morgan rejoin the team for the dual-surface challenge.
While the action is based in the hills above Salou, Rally de España kicks off in the centre of Barcelona on Thursday evening with a street-stage blast through the spectator special in Montjuic. Overall there are 19 stages over 321.08km before crews cross the finish podium back in Salou on Sunday.
Dick Cormack, DMACK managing director, said: “Spain is a tricky and complex event from a tyre perspective and sometimes the weather can be unpredictable. We have strong experience from this event but it always provides a stern challenge.”
Ott Tänak said: “I enjoy this rally a lot and we had a strong start last year on the gravel stages which can be pretty rough and demanding. The Tarmac roads are nice to drive, flowing stages where you need to have a nice driving line and feeling. It’s a great challenge and there’s always lots of think about, but I enjoy this type of event.”
Marius Aasen said: “Spain is one of my absolute favourite events of the season. It will be my third time doing this rally and I really like the mixed surface format. I’ve got a good feeling with the R5 car on gravel, but it will be my first time on Tarmac with this car, so that will for sure be a challenge. I want to show some more speed during the rally.”
Sander Pärn said: “I have good memories from Spain and my aim this year is to finish the rally and improve stage by stage as it is my first time on Tarmac with the R5 car. The mixed surface rally is better for me than just the full Tarmac event and I like that the rally starts with gravel as it’s a more familiar surface for me.”
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